Monthly Round-up – August

Dempsey back home but for what reason? (Image from Getty)Last month finally saw Gareth Bale complete his record breaking transfer to Real Madrid, a move that has been months in the making. Bale’s on off move has kept the world watching with interest throughout the summer and the news of the transfer going through will be a relief to many. Spurs, accepting the inventible, have been busy spending the money they anticipated to make from Bale’s sale so its conclusion will come as welcome if not somewhat disappointing news. Other clubs like Arsenal and Manchester United have also been tracking the transfer with moves for Real Madrid players like Luka Modric, Kaka and Mesut Ozil all dependant on Bale realizing his dream by moving to the Bernabeau.

Madrid star Gareth Bale (Image from Getty)
Madrid star Gareth Bale
(Image from Getty)

Also leaving Tottenham last month was Clint Dempsey who rejoined the ever improving MLS side, Seattle Sounders. Dempsey’s move is a strange one as many believe he still had a lot to offer Spurs especially having only signed last year. However as the month progressed and signings like Roberto Soldado, Paulinho and Erik Lamela arrived, its plausible that Dempsey had been told earlier on in the summer by Tottenham that he was surplus to requirements.  Still at 30 years old and with form and fitness still on his side, his move away from the Premiership seems rash and ill timed. Surely other clubs in the league would have been interested in the American captain if they had known of his availability. Dempsey’s decision to return home was perhaps in an effort to be closer to his family as his career enters its final stages. Dempsey’s return to the US comes at a time when interest in soccer is at an all-time high. Television network NBC has jumped on this interest by banking on owning the Premiership rights as well as a few other leagues as a way to win over audiences. The company has kicked off its coverage with an extensive marketing campaign including rebranding subway cars to match each team’s colours to constructing a giant billboard in the middle of time square. The billboard unfortunately will need to be changed as the player they had chosen has now just become the most expensive player ever to leave the league.

NBC billboard on Times Square (Image from NBC)
NBC billboard on Times Square
(Image from NBC)

They may consider using one of the more famous faces like Wayne Rooney but with his future uncertain it may not be the smartest move. Linked heavily with Chelsea during the summer, mostly after Jose Mourinho returned to the Bridge and named Rooney as the one player he wanted, the player has never been the same. With his head turned, Rooney has acted out of sorts and at times petulant towards his current employers and new manager David Moyes. It looks as though Rooney will now stay but his long term future is still uncertain with Mourinho likely to bid at every available opportunity even if he doesn’t actually need or want the player. After all it’s all part of his master plan.

Lots to think about for Rooney  (Image from Getty)
Lots to think about for Rooney
(Image from Getty)

Also last month was the sudden death of former Birmingham and Ecuador striker, Christian Benetiz that shocked the game. Only weeks after moving to Qatar in a $10million move, Benetiz fell ill the day after making his debut and suffered a heart attack that eventually killed him. Over 1000 people attended his funeral back home in Ecuador including his international team mate Antonio Valencia who along with the players devastated father, help to carry Benetiz’s coffin during the service. Valencia spoke of losing his brother and friend whilst Ecuador lost one of its greatest living goal scorers.

Benitez was a national favourite  (Image from Getty)
Benitez was a national favourite
(Image from Getty)

Other stories making the news last month included David Moyes first trophy as Manchester United boss, the collapse of the FC Anzhi dream and the resulting fire sale which has seen both Willian and Samuel Eto’o join Chelsea and a look ahead to the champions league which kicks off this month as Celtic booked their place only to be rewarded with the group of death – Barcelona, Ajax and AC Milan. Last month was dominated by the transfer window but as it slams shut this month, the focus can now turn to the football itself as teams look to set the pace for the season ahead.

Share your thoughts now on Facebook: www.facebook.com/BackOfTheNetBlog or on Twitter: https://twitter.com/BOTNBlog